It’s hard to believe that the movie musical adaptation of Chicago wowed audiences 20 years ago already. The Kander and Ebb musical received the big screen treatment from Rob Marshall who brought the razzle dazzle to life. Paramount Home Entertainment is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new SteelBook Blu-Ray edition with a digital copy included.
Marshall has a top-notch cast on his hands with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger as our murderous mistresses, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, respectively. Joining them are Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), Queen Latifah (Mama Morton), John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), and Taye Diggs (Bandleader). Chita Rivera, Broadway’s original Velma Kelly, makes a cameo in the film!
Catherine Zeta-Jones would go on to win Best Supporting Actress for her role. I’m still in awe of her take on “All That Jazz” that opens the film with Rob Marshall’s choreography. She nailed Velma Kelly, and this role led to Zeta-Jones taking on Broadway a few years later in a revival of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. And yes, she won the Tony for that as well. Chicago would receive 13 nominations, winning 6 for Best Picture, Supporting Actress, Art Direction/Set Decoration, Costume Design, Film Editing, Best Sound.
The Blu-Ray SteelBook and Digital Copy comes with these special features:
–Chicago in the Spotlight – A retrospective with Cast and Crew
-Extended Musical Performances
-Feature Commentary with Director Rob Marshall and Screenwriter Bill Condon
If you haven’t seen Chicago recently, I highly recommend picking this up. Marshall’s choreography based on the original by Bob Fosse continues to wow me. It’s bright, flashy, with a timeless score. If you love it, I recommend watching Fosse/Verdon on Hulu for some music theater history on the life and career of Gwen Verdon (original Broadway Roxie Hart) and her husband/collaborator, Bob Fosse.